Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Picture the scene.
A thirteen year old boy enters a classroom and walks to his desk. He opens his bag and pulls out a bag of his favourite crisps. He is about to open them to enjoy a tasty savoury snack when into the room walks Lewis, a boy who is the same age.
Lewis used to be the boy’s friend but not any more.
Due to a massive growth spurt, Lewis has grown to the incredible height of six feet tall; he is taller than most of the kids and he knows it. His height intimidates others and he has used this to his advantage. Lewis regards himself as superior to everybody else, including his former friend. He sees the boy about to tuck into his crisps.
Lewis marches over, grabs the crisps, throws them onto the floor and jumps on them. The other kids in the class laugh and Lewis relishes the attention. His action has proved once again that he is the cock of the class, if not the entire year. Nobody messes with Lewis, particularly this little runt who once was his friend.
Lewis is a bully who believes that he is untouchable. He can do whatever he pleases to whomever he chooses. Lewis is the king. Lewis is the best.
But this is no ordinary day, dear reader, because the boy has had enough. He was looking forward to his bag of crisps and this has happened before. Something begins to erupt inside him, something that is similar to the effect that causes Bruce Banner to turn green.
The boy is angry.
The boy is livid.
The red mist descends.
“You fracking bastard,” screams the boy and before he realises what he is doing, he has leapt up from his seat. Such is his anger that there are tears of rage in his eyes.
Lewis turns to the boy, considering briefly how best to hurt him.
He considers just a split second too long.
The boy, enraged by this latest episode of being tormented by his former friend, looks up into the eyes of Lewis. Lewis is so tall and so tough.
Common sense is swept aside; fear is swept aside. The boy acts, driven by something deep and primeval.
The boy punches Lewis in the stomach as hard as he can.
Lewis barely has time to register what has happened before every breath is swept out of his body in a massive whoosh. He falls to his knees, gasping. The boy takes advantage of the situation and pushes the now defenceless Lewis into the nearest desk.
Lewis is lost in a clatter of furniture.
Everybody else in the class stares at the boy, aghast at this strange turn of events.
Realising what he has done, the boy is suddenly gripped with fear.
The bully is gasping and struggling to stand up.
The rest of the class are stunned.
The boy comes to his senses and the consequences of his actions become evident. However, rather than running, the boy calmly walks out of the room and into the corridor, shaking with the remnants of rage, but also recognition of the ramifications of his actions.
As he walks away, Lewis bursts out of the room.
“I’m gonna kill you, you little prick!”
The boy runs.
Lewis chases him and eventually corners the boy.
The boy decides to stand his ground; he has no choice. He sees a sports bag and picks it up.
“Come on then, “ shouts the boy, defiantly.
Lewis lunges forward as the boy swings the bag. It makes contact, hitting Lewis in the face and knocking him sideways. Other boys come running, screaming for blood.
“FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!”
The boy’s strength is sapping and he drops the bag.
Lewis sees his chance and attacks the boy.
The resulting tussle is over fairly quickly. The boys ends up in heap on the floor and his glasses are in the corner, fortunately not broken.
The boy is beaten yet despite the defeat he screams in defiance.
"I’ve had enough of you, Lewis. Do that again and there will be more of the same!"
Lewis laughs nervously, still gasping and rubbing a red mark that has appeared on the side of his face where the bag struck him. Another red mark has appeared on his mouth where the boy managed to connect with a blindly lashed out punch.
The other kids stare at Lewis and then at the boy.
The physical victory belongs to Lewis. The moral victory belongs to the boy.
The boy stands up and walks past Lewis pushing him as he does so. The taste of defeat is bitter, the rage is still present – but the satisfaction of hurting the bully, not once but four times is immensely satisfying.
He smiles knowing that things will never be the same again.
That boy, dear reader, was me.
And Lewis never did anything else to me again.
Looking back though, Lewis did do me a massive favour because he made me realise that bullies can be defeated.
And that has been my philosophy ever since.